I have pdf documents that I need to create as entities on our website. The pdfs were created with metadata, such as title and subject, that we want to have available in Drupal.

I am trying to save the subject metadata in a new field that I added to the Document media type.

I do not believe that pdf metadata is being stored in either the media object or the file object by default.

I have attempted to hook into the media_creation to save the field by using hook_media_insert() but I have not found an easy way to get that information yet either from the Media or File objects.

Is there a way to grab that metadata information from the pdfs?


1 Answer 1


Here is how I was able to achieve what I was looking for. The possible duplicate contained a piece of what I needed; however, the full implementation below addresses a few additional challenges.

use Drupal\file\Entity\File;

function my_module_media_presave(Drupal\Core\Entity\EntityInterface $media) {
  $fid = $media->get($media_field)->target_id;

  if(empty($fid)) {
  $file = File::load($fid);

  // I set a limit of 3000 in order to mitigate out of memory errors for large PDFS
  $file_contents = file_get_contents($file->getFileUri(), false, null, 0, 3000);
  preg_match('/(?<=Subject)\S(?:(?<=\().+?(?=\))|(?<=\[).+?(?=\]))./', $file_contents, $subject);

  if(!empty($subject)) {
    $media->set('field_description', $subject[0]);

Note that this will keep the () around the description. If you don't want those then you can update the regex to do that or parse them out with a string replace.

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